Though it may not have the star power of Versailles, this baroque palace just north of Turin is one of the largest royal residences in the world. Built as a lavish hunting lodge, the building and its sweeping grounds have been completely restored and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular excursion from Turin.
The 17th-century Palace of Venaria (Reggia di Venaria Reale) was built for the Duke of Savoy Carlo Emanuele II and is an enormous complex with almost 900,000 square feet of interior floor space. The palace is an excellent example of the baroque style, and highlights include the Hall of Diana, designed by Amedeo di Castellamonte; the Great Gallery, designed by Sicilian architect Filippo Juvarra; the Church of St. Hubert; and the Juvarra Stables. The 150 acres of grounds include meticulously designed gardens and the ornate Fountain of the Stag in the Court of Honor.
Visit the palace and the park on your own with the Royal Card, which includes discounted admission to Turin’s royal palaces, or see it on a multi-day tour of Piedmont.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Palace of Venaria is one of the largest palaces in the world, so visitors should expect to do a significant amount of walking; be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
- You can tour the grounds on foot or on a mini-train, a horse-drawn carriage, or even a gondola.
- The palace and grounds are wheelchair-accessible.
- Kids particularly love the daily water show at the Fountain of the Stag, which takes place at noon on weekdays and at 6:30pm on weekends and holidays.
- There are a number of restaurants and cafés on the grounds as well as a gift shop.
How to Get There
The palace is located in Venaria, 6 miles north of Turin. To get there on public transportation, you can take the Venaria Express bus from Piazza Vittorio Veneto or Piazza Castello in central Turin or the sightseeing bus 11 or 72 from Porta Nuova station. If driving, take the Turin Northern Ring Road (Tangenziale Nord) and exit at Venaria or Savonera/Venari. When to Get There
The palace and grounds are open Tuesday through Sunday, but opening and closing hours change seasonally. The park is a highlight of the visit, so to make the most of your time at the palace, try to go on a mild, clear day.The Theater of History and Magnificence
The Reggia di Venaria is home to a permanent exhibition dedicated to the House of Savoy’s 1,000-year-long history entitled The Theater of History and Magnificence
. This exhibition stretches for more than a mile through two levels of the palace. Additionally, the building and gardens also host a variety of temporary exhibitions and concerts throughout the year.